Greek and Roman Mythology - Jessie M. Tatlock


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Greek and Roman Mythology
Autor: Jessie M. Tatlock
The Century Co, New York, 1917, 408p

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Greek and Roman Mythology - Jessie M. Tatlock

  4. 4. Copyright, 1917, by THE CENTURY Co. 297 Printed in U. S. A.
  5. 5. PREFACE WHILE familiarity with classical mythology is generally recognized as essential to the understanding of literature and art and to the preserva- and valuable part of our artistic heritage, the method of assuring tion of a great and spiritual such a familiarity to the rising generation differs in different schools. In many the stories of the gods and heroes are read in the lower grades from one or another of the children's books based on the myths, and any further knowledge of the subject depends upon the study of Vergil and other Latin or Greek writers and on the use of reference books in connection with reading in In many schools, however, English literature. has proved that as even the most eleexperience mentary knowledge of mythology gained in childhood cannot be presupposed, and as the knowledge gained from the occasional use of reference books is unsubstantial and unsatisfactory, a systematic course in mythology for students of highschool age is necessary. It might seem that to such students this subject would be so simple as no difficulties, but the fact is that to to present those who come to its study, as surprisingly many
  6. 6. Preface vi do, with such entire un familiarity that the name of Apollo or Venus conveys nothing to them, the mass of new and strange names and the divergence of the conceptions from those to which they are accustomed make the study not a little After many years' experience with such students the writer has been led to believe that difficult. there is need for a text book in a style to appeal who have outgrown children's books, but of content so limited and treatment so simple as to make it possible for the average boy or girl to those to assimilate it in a course of about thirty lessons. To secure brevity and simplicity only the most famous and interesting of the stories have been incorporated in this book; certain others are In reading a briefly mentioned in the index. narrative it is difficult for an inexperienced student to distinguish between the important names and those that merely form part of the setting of the story. The mention of any names beyond those that should be remembered has therefore been avoided, and the effort has been made by reiteration and cross-reference to impress these names upon the student. In preparing an elementar y book on mythology there are naturally two pu /poses to be kept in mind: (i) By a sympathetic and accurate treatment to give understan (ing and appreciation of the character and ideals of the people among whom the mythology developed. Any study that
  7. 7. vn Preface gives this understanding and appreciation of one of the peoples through whom our own spiritual life and civilization has come what to be it is is believed by the writer to be important to an intelligent valuation of our present life and ideals and to a sane building for the future. (2) By placing the familiar stories in their proper relation to enable the student better to understand references in literature and representations in art, Because of the subjective ancient and modern. element in the treatment of mythology in later It ages the conceptions have become confused. is the writer's belief that to avoid confusion and misunderstanding on the student's part the subject should not be treated through the medium of modern writers and artists, whose interpretation of Greek thought and religion has been affected by the thought and religion of their own times, but that by the use of ancient sources, careful study of the people's own understanding of their mythology, direct quotation and free reproduction of the works of Greek and Latin poets, illus- drawn from Greek sculpture and paintthe effort should be made to leave an honest ing, Therefore picture of the mind of the Greeks. trations reference has not been lish made in the text to poems based upon the myths, but it Eng- has been left to the individual teacher carefully to intro- duce such illustrations and parallels an appendix Another suggests a few of the more notable. ;
  8. 8. Preface viii misunderstanding that it is sought to avoid is the popular association of these anthropomorphic conceptions and imaginative tales with the Romans. The writer has wished to make it clear that what known as classical mythology is a product of is Greece, and that in general the Latin writers have merely retold stories that were not original with The Greek names have their people. therefore been employed primarily, even though they are less familiar than the Latin. It may seem in- when the work of some consistent that this has been done even version of a tale as it appears in the Latin poet, e.g., Ovid, has been followed, but it is not the nomenclature, which is Latin, but the subject matter and the conception of the tale, Where Greek, that has been followed. the story is mainly of Latin development Latin which is names have been Perhaps it may seem that too scant attention has been paid to Roman gods, but when one deals with Roman deities used. one quickly gets out of the realm of mythology into that of ritual and history, subjects which seem out of place in such a book as this. In spelling Greek names the most familiar and the simplest English spellings have been used. In most cases has been transliterated by English i. (Poseidon is a common exception, and e takes the place of before the terminations has been renus, as de'a, Au ge'as. ) a, as, K Me dered c, at by cc. os by Latin us. In these incon-
  9. 9. Preface IX and permissible custom is folIn the index and upon their first mention the accent on names of more than two syllables sistencies the usual lowed. is indicated, and in an appendix a few simple rules of pronunciation are given. While in many instances in a foot-note the version of a story followed has been indicated, and in case of direct quotation the reference has been given, in an elementary book such as this the use of many notes has been avoided as undesirable. In many one author has not been stories followed exclusively, but various features have been borrowed from various sources. Those chiefly followed are Homer, : Hymns, Hesiod, Pindar, the yEschylus, Homeric Sophocles, Euripides, Apollodorus, Apollonius Rhodius, Hy- In quoting ginus, Pausanius, Vergil, and Ovid. from the Iliad the translation of Lang, Leaf, and Myers has been used; from the Odyssey, that of Butcher and Lang; and from the Homeric Hymns, that of Lang. Of modern authorities Preller's consulted the most important are: Griechische Mythologie revised by Robert (unfortunately incomplete) ; Wissowa's Religion itnd Kultus der Romer; separate articles in Roscher's Lexikon der griechischen imd romischen Mythologie; the Pauly-Wissowa Real-Encydopadic Frazer's der classischen Alter tumszvissenschaft. Golden Bough, Jane Harrison's Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, Lawson's Modern
  10. 10. x Preface Greek Warde Folklore and Ancient Fowler's Roman other books and articles suggestive. Greek Religion, and many been helpful and have Festivals, The comprehensive works of Col- lignon, Baumeister, Overbeck, Furtwangler, and others have, of course, been taken as authorities in dealing with representations in J. December, 1916. art. M. TATLOCK.
  11. 11. CONTENTS PAGE INTRODUCTION PART I. xix THE GODS CHAPTER I II ... THE WORLD OF THE MYTHS THE GODS OF OLYMPUS: ZEUS III HERA, ATHENA, HEPH^STUS i Hera ii Athena in Hephaestus IV . . ... APOLLO AND ARTEMIS i 55 HERMES AND HESTIA 91 ii 55 Hermes 91 Hestia 98 ARES AND APHRODITE i ii VII 36 36 40 49 80 i VI 16 Apollo Artemis ii V 3 THE i ii 105 105 109 Ares Aphrodite LESSER DEITIES OF OLYMPUS Eros Other Deities of Olympus . THE GODS OF THE SEA IX THE GODS OF THE EARTH X THE WORLD OF THE DEAD . .139 VIII xi 122 122 143 . . . .153 . . . 186
  12. 12. Contents xii PART II. THE HEROES CHAPTER XI XII XIII PAGE STORIES OF ARGOS 199 HERACLES 210 STORIES OF CRETE, SPARTA, CORINTH, JE.TOL.IA i ii Stories of Crete Stories of Sparta in Stories of Corinth iv Stories of ^tolia .... .... 228 228 234 236 . . . . . . . . 241 XIV STORIES OF ATTICA . . . . . 244 XV STORIES OF THEBES . . . . . 256 . . 266 . . 280 . . 305 . . 326 . 331 THE ARGONAUTIC EXPEDITION XVII THE TROJAN WAR XVIII THE WANDERINGS OF ODYSSEUS XIX THE TRAGEDY OF AGAMEMNON XX THE LEGENDARY ORIGIN OF ROME XVI . APPENDIX A APPENDIX B INDEX ... . . . ....... . . . ... . 355 356 363
  13. 13. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS PARE FIG. 1. Omphalus, copy of a stone bound with fillets that was set up at Delphi to mark the center of the earth (Museum at 4 Delphi) Rhea . 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. offering Cronus the stone in place of Zeus (Vase in Metropolitan Museum) Zeus (Metropolitan Museum) 6 ... 17 Dirce tied to the bull (National Museum, Naples) 27 Head View of Zeus found at Otricoli (Vatican) of ruins at Olympia " Hera, Borghese Juno" (Glyptothek Carlsberg, Copenhagen) 33 Ny 37 10. Ganymede and the eagle (Vatican) Head of Hera (Museo delle Terme, Rome) Lemnian Athena (Albertinum, Dresden) 11. Birth of Athena 12. Athena 8. 9. . . 13. 40 41 43 Minerva of Velletri " (Louvre) 45 Hephaestus and the Cyclopes preparing the shield of Achilles (Palazzo dei Conservatori, 14. 39 Auserlese- (Gerhard ne Vasenbilder) " 31 Rome) 50 Apollo from the pediment of the temple at 54 Olympia Xlll
  14. 14. xiv Illustrations PAGE FIG. 15. The sun-god ish in his chariot (Vase in Brit- Museum) 56 16. Foundations of Apollo's temple at Delphi 17. Apollo as leader of the 1 8. Muses (Vatican) Niobe and her daughter (Uffizi, 60 Florence) 69 Museum, Rome) 19. Asclepius (Capitoline 20. Artemis of Versailles (Louvre) Artemis of Gabii (Louvre) 21. 22. . . 83 86 Endymion 24. Rome) Hermes 25. 26. Hestia, so-called 27. Genius and Lares 28. Pompeii) Ares with Eros (Capitoline Museum, (National Museum, Hermes (Olympia) . in 87 '. repose 93 Naples) 97 (Rome) 99 (Wall-painting from 101 (Museo Terme, delle Rome) Bearded 104 Mars (Museo Terme, delle 106 Rome) Aphrodite of Cnidos (Museo delle Terme, Rome) 31. 107 Birth of Aphrodite from the sea delle 32. 81 Actaeon killed by his dogs (Vase in Eoston Art Museum) Sleeping 30. 75 .... 23. 29. 57 . (Museo Terme, Rome) Judgment of Paris (Tomb in Rome) 33. Venus of Aries (Louvre) 34. Eros, or Rome) Cupid no of the Anicii, (Capitoline 114 Museum, 123
  15. 15. xv Illustrations PAGE FIG. 35. Cupid and Psyche (Capitoline Museum, 36. Clio 37. Thalia (Vatican) 38. Terpsichore (Vatican) 39. Poseidon (Athens) Marriage of Poseidon Rome) 40. 127 (Vatican) 140 . 141 . 142 145 and Amphitrite (Vase in Glyptothek Ny-Carlsberg) 148 . 41. Head of a sea-god in ....... her car (Metropolitan Museum) 153 .155 42. Cybele 43. Demeter (Glyptothek Ny-Carlsberg) 44. Demeter, Triptolemtis, (Athens) 45. Triptolemus and in the 149 . Persephone 159 dragon-drawn chariot 162 (Eleusis) delle Terme, Rome) 46. Dionysus (Museo 47. Silenus with Dionysus (Vatican) 48. Bacchic 49. Naples) Youthful Dionysus Naples) 50. Bacchic procession (Vase in Metropolitan 51. Pan and 52. Minor) 175 Votive offering to Pan and the nymphs (National Museum, Athens) 179 procession (National 168 Museum) a nymph (Terra 172 173 Cotta from Asia . . Dancing Satyr (National Museum, Na180 ples) 54. 163 . (National Museum, . 53. . .167 Museum, . Faun of Rome) Praxiteles (Capitoline Museum, 181
  16. 16. xvi Illustrations PAGE FIG. 55. Athena and Marsyas (Reconstruction made in Munich) 182 Apollo and Marsyas (National Museum, Athens) 183 Charon in his skiff (Vase in Metropolitan . 56. 57. . . . . . Museum) 58. 188 Heracles carrying off Cerberus (Gerhard. Auserlesene Vasenbildcr) .191 . 59. Parting of Orpheus and Eurydice (National Museum, Naples) .193 . 60. . . . . Carpenter making the chest for Danae and Perseus (Vase in Boston Art Mu- 20 1 seum) 61. Head of Medusa Rondanini (Glyptothek, Munich) 203 62. Perseus killing Medusa (Metope for Selinunte) 205 63. Atlas supporting the heavens (National Museum, Naples) 207 64. Heracles 65. Heracles strangling the serpents painting from Pompeii) 66. . . . . .211 (Wall- 214 Five of Heracles' labors (Borghese Gallery, 67. (Vatican) . Rome) Heracles killing the Hydra Auserlesene Vasenbilder} 215 (Gerhard. . . . .217 68. Heracles carrying the boar (Metropolitan 69. Museum) Amazon (Capitoline Museum, Rome) 70. 218 . 219 Heracles in the bowl of the sun (Gerhard. .221 Auserlesene Vasenbilder) . . .
  17. 17. xvii Illustrations PAGE FIG. 71. Nessus running off with Dejanira (Vase 226 in Boston Art Museum) .... 73. Europa on the bull (Wall-painting from 228 Pompeii) Daedalus and Icarus (Villa Albani, Rome) 231 74. The Dioscuri (Ancient 72. now set up Rome) 234 FlorMuseum, statues before the king's palace in . . 75. Chimsera (Archaeological 76. Bellerophon and Pegasus (Palazzo Spada, 77. Meleager (Vatican) 237 ence) Rome) 78. 79. 80. 239 242 Cephalus and the dawn-goddess (Vase Boston Art Museum) in Theseus killing the Minotaur Boston Art Museum) in ..... (Vase 251 and the rescued Athenians 252 (Wall-painting from Pompeii) Theseus . . 81. 82. 83. 84. Centaur and Lapith Parthenon) . (Metope from the ........ Cadmus and the dragon (Vase politan Museum) in CEdipus and the Sphinx (Vase Art Museum) in 253 MetroBoston 257 261 Mu- Phrixus and the ram (Metropolitan 266 seum) 85. Centaur (Capitoline Museum, Rome) 86. Medea preparing hard. 87. 246 the magic brew Auserlcscnc Medea preparing to Vasenbildcr) kill her (Wall-painting from Pompeii) . 268 (Ger. . 276 children . . . 278
  18. 18. xviii Illustrations PAGE PIG. Mu- 88. The 89. Sacrifice of Iphigenia (National 90. Priam ransoming Hector's body (Vase 91. Vienna) Laocoon and persuasion of Helen (National seum, Naples) 285 Museum, Naples) 92. 289 in 299 his sons (Vatican) . . . 302 Priam slain on the altar (Vase in the 304 Louvre) and the Sirens (Vase in British Odysseus . 93. Museum) 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 313 before Odysseus appearing 318 (Vase in Munich) makes himself known to TeleOdysseus machus (Vase in Metropolitan Mu322 seum) Odysseus avenging himself upon the suit. . ors (Vase in Munich Museum) 325 yEneas wounded (Wall-painting from 332 Pompeii) yEneas fleeing from Troy (Gerhard. Auserlesene Vasenbilder) 99. Nausicaa The wolf .... Romulus and Museum, Rome) (Capitoline 337 Remus with . . . 349
  19. 19. INTRODUCTION PRIMITIVE people, as they have looked out on * the world about them, on the sea and the trees, on the sky and the clouds, and as they have felt the power of natural forces, the heat of the sun, the violence of the wind, have recognized in these things the expression and action of some being more powerful than themselves. Able to understand only those motives and sensations that are like their more or own, they have conceived these beings less after their own nature. The He- an early time recognized one brews, supreme God, who had created and who directed all the world according to his will, but most other indeed, at early people have seen living, willing beings in the forms and powers of nature, and have wor- shiped these beings as gods or feared them as devils. Physical events, such as the rising and and ripening of the grain, are to them actions of the beings In accounting for identified with sun or grain. setting of the sun, or the springing these acts, whether regularly recurring, as the rising of the sun, or occasionally disturbing the or- dinary course of nature, as earthquakes, eclipses, or violent storms, stories more or less complete Myths and mythology.
  20. 20. xx Introduction grow, are repeated, and believed. These stories superhuman beings and believed by a whole told of people are myths, and form a mythology. The interest mythology, all The mythology of any because it these myths together people reflects their individual is interesting nature and de- veloping life; that of the Greeks is more interesting to us than any other, first, because it expresses the nature of a people gifted with a peculiarly fine and artistic soul secondly, because our own thought and art are, in great part, a ; Much heritage from the civilization of Greece. of this heritage comes to us quite directly from whose works have been preserved. The dramas of Sophocles and Euripides hold an audience in America as they the Greek writers and artists held those in Athens, because their art is true and great; the noble youth of the Hermes of Praxiteles, or the gallant action of the horsemen in the frieze of the Parthenon satisfy us in the twentieth century as they did the Greeks in the and fourth centuries B.C. But more of this fifth down to us through the Romans, whose genius taught them to conquer and govern without destroying, and who learned from the nations that they conquered, Egypt, Asia, and Greece, all that centuries of rich civilization had The civilization of the modern world. to give. America as well as Europe, is rooted deeply in the civilization of Rome, and through Rome in that heritage comes
  21. 21. xxi Introduction Greek thought and Greek principles run through our law, our government, our standards of taste, our art, and our literature. The of Greece. very personages of Greek mythology are familiarly known to-day in the United States, divorced from meaning but religious set up before our eyes as symbols of truths that are in the very nature of things. The winged Mercury (the of travelers, whose Greek name was Hermes) god magic wand above the main entrance to the Grand Central Station in New York; the noble head of Minerva (the Greek Athena, the goddess of wisdom) is set above the doors of our libraries and colleges, and the adventures of Ulysses (or Odysseus) and of many other Greek heroes are painted on the walls of our Congres- waves his sional Library. is still a hint of Even our daily language there mythology our troops still march in : to martial music, the music of the and we eat at breakfast war-god Mars, cereals, the gift of the corn-goddess Ceres; the Muses of Pieria are not too far away to inspire the music of our western world. These beliefs and stories have been handed down through so many ages and modified in so many ways that confusion as to their real origin has naturally arisen. It is Greek, not Roman. The Romans did not develop an original mythology but took over stories from the Greeks and others and told them of their own gods. It was classical truly Greek*
  22. 22. Introduction xxii the Greek Zeus, not the so many love adventures dite, not the golden apple Roman ; it was Roman Venus, from Trojan Jupiter, who had the Greek who Aphro- received the Paris. Classical the expression of the nature and mythology of the Greeks, not that of the Romans. thought is For the Greeks were by nature artistic; they in- stinctively expressed their ideals, the truth as they saw it, in poetry, story, and sculpture, and be- cause imagination, insight, and love of beauty were united in them, their stories and their art veiopment mythology. have an appeal that is universal. ^he ren gi n an d mythology of the Greeks was not a fi xe(i and unchanging thing; it varied with different and changed with changing For when we speak of Greece we localities conditions. do not speak of a nation in the strict sense that is, a people under one central government " but of the Greek race Wherever the Greeks : are, there is Greece." So the mythological stories grew and changed as they passed from Asia Minor to Greece, or from Greece to the islands of the ^Lgean Sea, to Italy and Sicily. Moreover, the independence of the individual in the Greek states, where men thought for themselves, and no autocratic government or powerful priesthood exerted undue restraint, fostered variety and permitted artists and poets so to modify tradition as to express something of their individual ideas. This added infinitely to the richness of mythology
  23. 23. Introduction xxiii Local conditions, too, and local pride, in a country broken both geographically and po- and art. litically into small divisions, added variety to re- In mountain districts the god ligious customs. of the sky and storms was most feared and worfertile plains, the gods of earth and harvest, while on the coast men needed the favor of the gods who were powerful over the shiped, in the sea and protected commerce. Local heroes gathered stories about themselves, and local pride led people to place important events, birth of a such as the god or some important manifestation of his power, in their own localities. Many different places claimed to be the birthplace of Apollo, within and the many a fires volcano of Hephaestus burned (called after his Latin name, Vulcan). Furthermore, as they came in contact with other peoples and became familiar with their religious stories and ceremonial, they incorporated much that was of foreign origin into their own religion. The stories connected with Dionysus, or Bacchus, and the extravagant honor were imported from the East, and the Aphrodite of Asia Minor was far more Asiatic and sensual in character than rites celebrated in his the Aphrodite of Greece. Finally, since mythology is not based on authority but grows from the soul of the people, it necessarily fol- lows that as Greek life and thought grew and developed, as social conditions changed, as art
  24. 24. xxiv Introduction was perfected and poetry and philosophy grew less simple, the telling of the myths and their interpretation changed and developed. Mythology was a living, growing thing, impossible to seize and fix in a consistent system. It must be as a mass of legend, handed down regarded through the people and poets of generation after generation, continually reflecting the developing When life and soul of a great and vital race. different versions of a story are found, one is not necessarily more authentic than another; in the present book that version is given which has become most famous rhe character of the Greek religion, in art and literature, Before proceeding to the mythological stories that spring from the Greek religion, it is well to notice some of the more marked characteristics of that religion. was was the worship of " father many gods. The supremacy of Zeus, of gods and king of men," over the other gods did not make the religion a monotheism any more (1) It polytheistic, it than the hegemony or leadership of one Greek state over others made Greece one united nation. (2) The religion was, in origin, a worship of the powers of nature. This is natural to primitive men everywhere, because these are the first powers outside of themselves of which men The intensity of the Greek sun, are conscious. the nearness of the sea and its daily life of the people, the importance in the mountain barriers
  25. 25. xxv Introduction about them, all pendence upon tended to emphasize men's deBut as the Greeks de- nature. veloped in intelligence and civilization, as their thoughts and their lives became less simple, and abstract ideas entered into the government of gods assumed ethical their actions, these nature or moral meanings. So the thunder of Zeus. his weapon as sky-god, became the of his world power as god of law and orsymbol der. The clear, illuminating brightness of the originally sun made of the seeing prophet, god of who light, Apollo, the all- in his worshipers required Athena, who, owing to the story of her from her father Zeus's head when Hephaeshad cleft it, is generally supposed to have purity. birth tus represented the descent of the storm when the thunderbolt has opened the heavens, almost lost this original meaning, and became the goddess wisdom and of skill in war. was an anthropomorphic religion (3) that is, the gods were conceived in the forms of men, greater and more beautiful and of a finer of practical It substance, yet such as While a represent. men more could understand and spiritual conception leads to a loftier ideal, this Greek conception of the gods as of like nature with men exalts and ennobles and the human body and and sculptors. A purely god can never be so represented as even human life offers subjects for poets spiritual in part to satisfy his worshipers, but the noble
  26. 26. xxvi Introduction dignity of Zeus, the king cf gods, was so realized by the sculptor Phidias that his great gold and ivory statue quite worthily expressed to the peo- What gulf there was between and men was bridged by the existence of gods heroes or demigods, sons of gods by mortals, and of nature and powers half human, half divine. (4) To worship and propitiate these gods, in ple their ideal. nature so close to men, so easily understood, men needed the help of no powerful priesthood gifted with peculiar sanctity and mysterious knowledge and powers. At the great shrines, it is true, there were priests and priestesses devoted to the gods' service, and there were men and women peculiarly inspired by the god to interpret his will and give warning and promise for the future; but these prophets only occasionally trolled people's actions determining religious father was or indirectly con- and had little authority in belief and practice. Each his family's priest; each man could own prayers and his own sacrifice and be understood and accepted by the god he adoffer his dressed. When the family ate and drank, part of the meat and drink was offered to the gods. When they danced and sang, the gods, called on to be present, enjoyed a pleasure like their own. Even games and athletics were shared by the gods. Apollo threw the discus with his friends, and Hermes was famous for his swiftness of foot. So athletic contests became a form .
  27. 27. xxvii Introduction of worship. Business as well as pleasure was a repetition of divine actions and therefore joined with religion. Hermes was a shepherd and understood the needs of other shepherds; Hephaestus was a smith, and no human smith needed an upon him for aid in his craft. The gods experienced and understood, too, the different relations of life. The maiden Artemis lent an ear to girls who were in trouble, readily and the offering of their childish playthings was Hera, as wife and mother, acceptable to her. was always ready to champion mortals in those interpreter to call relations, while the rights of kings were very dear to Zeus, the king of gods. So all the acts of daily life, all the simple things that men used, rinding their counterpart were ennobled and The gods of the rilled among the Olympians with religious meaning. Romans were just J r i pear to their worshipers as distinct personalities. No act of life, from the cooking of the family meal to the declaration of war, but was under the special care of thing, some from the oven in divinity. No material which the bread was city of Rome, but had its own inEven to know the names of all dwelling deity. baked to the much more to give characters and to determine the these innumerable divinities, them all distinct B" as closely The character of th e connected with daily life as were those of the Greeks, but the number of deities to be recognized was vastly multiplied, and they did not ap- . . religion.
  28. 28. xxviii Introduction to approach each one, was quite imfor the busy practical citizen. Hence, possible a purely conventional system of religious cere- best way monial and invocation ran through Roman life, just as unquestioningly observed as the other conventions and regulations to which the citizens were subject. head worshiped Each family under its father as own gods of the home and own hearth, and no one could its family about its hold his place in the family without performing his duty to the family gods. So the state, as the greater family, had its own deities, its own hearth in the shrine of Vesta in the Forum, its own religious head, first the king, later under Maximus. State and were one and indivisible; failure in religious duty was failure in national duty, and a wrong committed against the civil law was a the Republic the Pontifex religion This was a strong civilizing side of religion that made for good morals and good citizenship, but it lacked the inspirasin against the gods. tion of a more personal Nor had faith. the Roman gods sufficient individuality to bring into existence any body of mythology, such as that of the Greeks. The stories we are accustomed to associate with the Roman gods are either bor- rowed from the Greeks or were late creations of imagination inspired by and modeled on the traditions of Greek mythology.
  29. 29. PART I THE GODS
  30. 30. GREEK AND ROMAN MYTHOLOGY CHAPTER I THE WORLD OF THE MYTHS THE knowledge that the world we sphere and but one of an endless live in is a number Mythical geography. that are whirling through space with incredible speed, is not a knowledge that we have by nature or by we must be persuaded of this scienFor as we look around us and above us, we seem to stand at the very center of a circular plane, vaulted by the sky, across whose spacious arch the sun travels by day and the moon by night. This was the view held by the Greeks of early times. To them the world was flat and round, a disk whose central point was in experience; tific their fact. own native land, in Central Greece, at Del- phi, the holy place of all their race. were counted from Delphi ; it Near and far was with the sacred permission of the oracle established there that those daring colonists set out who brought Greece to the shores of Asia Minor, to Africa, and Italy. Beyond those lands to which -Greek enterprise and civilization penetrated lay distant lands in- Distant
  31. 31. Greek and Roman Mythology 4 habited by strange people and monsters, the tiny race of Pygmies, one-eyed giants, and serpents. Far the Fig. in the Hy i. was North per bo're good and happy people, and to the South " the ans, lived a Omphalus, copy of a stone bound with fillets that up at Delphi to mark the center of the earth. set These had no dealings Ethiopians.'' with other men, but were specially loved by the gods, who paid them frequent visits and ate at blameless their tables. Beyond all lands, and circling the disk of earth, ran the Stream of Ocean, a great and mysterious river without a farther shore.
  32. 32. The World The account of of the Myths 5 the beginning of this world, The begin of ning as the Greek poets tell unlike the account that ter it, is is in found one respect quite the wor ii in the first chap- For while the Hebrews were God, who existed from the beginning, of Genesis. taught that created our universe of heaven, earth, and sea, and all the forms of life, ending in man, the Greeks believed that the natural world came into being by birth or generation, and that even the gods whom they worshiped were the children and successors of an earlier race of beings. Thus, in the beginning and more elemental was Chaos, a formless misty void; next came Gaea (Earth), and Eros (Love), most beautiful of immortals. From Chaos sprang Er'e bus (the darkness under the From these two were born earth) and Night. ^Ether (the light of heaven) and Day. But Gaea, touched by Eros, bore U'ra nus (Heaven), Then Uranus and Gaea the sea and all the hills. were united by Eros and became the parents of who represent the great ungoverned forces of nature, and the three Cyck/pes, who the Titans, are the rumbling thunder, the lightning, and the thunderbolt; lastly, they gave birth to the hun- dred-handed giants, of the sea. who represent the violence When Uranus, fearing his children, the Cyclopes and the hundred-handed giants, drove them back into the earth, Gaea in her distress called upon the Titans for deliverance. The earlier gods.
  33. 33. 6 Greek and Roman Mythology The greatest of them, Cronus, obedient to his call, attacked his father, and having mother's maimed him with a Birth of the gods. After this, sickle, seized his Cronus married power. his sister Rhea and became the father of six children but since he had been told that a son should overthrow his ; Fig. 2. rule, as Rhea offering Cronus tne stone in place he had overthrown that of his of Zeus. own father, he adopted the extraordinary precaution of swallowing his children as soon as they were born. Thus Hes'tia (Vesta), Deme'ter (Ceres), and Hera (Juno) Posei'don (Neptune), and Hades (Pluto), came to the light only to be devoured.
  34. 34. The World When Rhea she saved sisters bore her of the last son, him from the Myths 7 Zeus (Jupiter), and fate of his brothers by giving to Cronus a stone wrapped baby's clothes in his place. The in was kept where he was infant for safety in a cave in Crete, nourished on honey and the milk of the goat al the'a, while the Cu re'tes, mountain spirits Am of Crete or priests of Rhea, drowned his cries by clashing their spears on their shields. When Zeus was grown, by giving Cronus a 5 strong potion he forced him to disgorge the five children he had swallowed. He then declared war upon him. The gods, brothers and sisters should as now Zeus and his be called, forti- themselves on Mt. Olympus, in Thessaly, and for ten years the war raged without ceasing. fied The rugged mountains and jumbled rocks of Thessaly bear witness to the fury of the battles. Finally Gaea advised Zeus to loose from their prison under the earth the Cyclopes and the hundred-handed giants. After this, armed with the thunderbolts given him by the Cyclopes, and assisted by the convulsions of sea and land caused by the hundred-handed giants, Zeus gained the Those Titans who had taken Cronus' victory. were buried deep in Tartarus, as far below part the earth as earth The is three brothers below heaven. now divided the world be- The Zeus, chosen as king, was supreme over heaven and earth, as truly a sky-god as his tween them. division of the worlo.
  35. 35. Greek and Roman Mythology 8 grandfather Uranus had been. lord over all the waters, and to Poseidon was Hades was given name below the earth, and dominion over the dead. Although Gaea had aided and abetted the gods the realm that bears his Typhon. in their war against Cronus, she resented the Therefore sons. complete she brought forth Typhon, a fearful monster, from whose shoulders grew a hundred serpent subjugation of her heads, with darting tongues and fiery eyes, and from whose throats came fearful sounds, like the bellowing of bulls, the howling of dogs, the roarUnder ing of lions, and the hissing of serpents. him all the earth was shaken, the waters seethed even Hades below trembled at the convulsion ; of But Zeus seized the thunderbolts, his gift from the Cyclopes, and overthrew Typhon, This monster, scorching all his hundred heads. the world. too, his was buried beneath the earth, but still from writhing at times the earth trembles, uneasy and the flames from his nostrils shoot up through the craters of volcanoes. The wr with the giants. To Zeus were born many sons and daughters, ' and when other enemies threatened his power, he had their assistance in overcoming them. This new war was brought on by a race of giants who had sprung from the blood of Uranus, when he was wounded by his son Cronus. Not all are agreed as to just what the form of the giants was, but artists sometimes depicted them with
  36. 36. The World the tails of serpents, of the Myths 9 and armed, as a tribe of with tree-trunks and rocks. savage men might be, These, too, Zeus with the help of his brothers and children overthrew and buried. After this his rule was undisputed. Much of this story of the world is allegory. J r T^ Day springs from night; heaven and earth are , the parents of the powers of nature. It is from the lower to the higher, development all Meaning of the myths. a from unordered forces of nature, to nature ordered by thought, justice, and beauty. And this development comes through love and birth, and through struggle, in which the higher gains the by crushing the lower. It science, history, and the spiritual rule the story of life, told as an is allegory. the origin of man in the world the Greeks The had three explanations he was born of the earth, Of : as in the story of the earliest king of Athens, who rose from the ground, half man, half serpent; or he was descended from the gods, Zeus is called " " or and this came Father of gods and men ; to be the accepted account of clay by the Titan's son, he was molded out Pro me'theus, and by A the'na, the wise daughter of Zeus. given Greek gentleman of the second century A.D., traveling in his own country, was shown a small brick hut in which, he was told by the natives of life A the place, man. Prometheus had fashioned the first Large masses of clay-colored stone lay creation
  37. 37. Greek and Roman Mythology 1O about, and the credulous tourist says that the odor of human flesh. 1 he of When ft fire! it had he had created man, Prometheus gave him the gift of fire, which raised him above all other animals and enabled him to make use of him by forging weapons and Fire was the means and tools for agriculture. the symbol of civilization. But Prometheus fell the world about under the displeasure of Zeus for ward man for ; when a his favor to- joint meeting was held to determine what part of beasts offered in sacrifice was due to the gods and what to men, he pre- pared a cunning device. divided it He two portions; in in cut up an ox and one was the flesh covered by the hide, and in the other the bones temptingly covered by fat. Then he told Zeus once for all what should be to choose his portion. And Zeus, although he saw the deceit, chose the bones and fat, because he wanted to bring trouble on Prometheus and gods deprived means of men livelihood, man. So the and denied them their until Prometheus stole it his creation, of fire once more from heaven, bringing it secretly in a hollow reed. For this defiance of his power the god punished Prometheus by having him bound to a rock in the Caucasus Mountains, where an eagle ever tore at his liver, which ever grew again. Although 1 at any time he might have won Pausanias, X. 4. 3. his
  38. 38. The World of the Myths 11 freedom by telling Zeus a secret which he alone knew, the much-enduring Titan bore this torture The two were at last reconciled and for ages. Prometheus set free, by Her'a cles (Hercules), the son of Zeus, who, as part divine, part human, was suited to act as mediator between the gods and man's self-sacrificing friend Because of the theft of Zeus devised For shall rejoice, and benefactor. against men, too, evil. fire will I the father of fire, give them an evil thing wherein they embracing their own doom. So spake gods, and laughed aloud. And men and he bade glorious Hephaestus speedily to mingle earth with water, and put therein human speech and strength, and make, as the deathless goddesses to look upon, the fair form of a lovely maiden. And Athena he bade teach her handiwork, to weave the embroidered web. And he bade golden Aphrodite shed grace about her head and grievous desire and wasting passion. And Hermes, the messenger, the slayer of Argus, he bade give her a shameless soul. (Hesiod, Works and Days, 56 ft. Translation by A. W. Mair.) Now when he had fashioned the beautiful bane in the place of a blessing, he led her forth where were the other gods and men. And amazement held immortal gods and mortal men, when they beheld the sheer delusion unescapable for men. For from her cometh the race of woman-kind. .Yea, of her is the deadly race and the tribes of women. A great bane are they to dwell among mortal men, no help-meet for ruinous . . . poverty, but for abundance. Translation by A. W. Mair.) (Hesiod, Theogony, 585 ff. Pandor*.
  39. 39. 12 Greek and Roman Mythology Although Prometheus (Forethought) had warned his brother Epimetheus (Afterthought) never to accept anything from Zeus, Epimetheus foolishly received this woman, Pan do'ra, at the hands of the gods' messenger, Hermes. She had with her a jar which she was commanded on no account The strong. ten thousand to open. But curiosity was too was raised out flew instant the lid little winged plagues, diseases, pains, no one on earth could escape them. Only Hope stayed within the mouth of the jar and never flew out. So in this Greek story the hitherto peaceful, innocent world received its burden of trouble through the curiosity of the and sins; first woman, just as in the Bible story the inno- cence of the Garden of Eden was lost through Eve. The Four The Greeks were not Ages. quite consistent in their explanations of the coming of sin and trouble into the world, for while in the one account it all came when Pandora opened her jar, the account of the Four Ages shows a gradual deterioration. For, first of all, in the Age of Gold mortal men lived like gods, knowing neither sor- The generous earth bore fruit of herself, and there was neither numbing frost nor burning heat to make shelter necessary. This was during the reign of Cronus, known among The men of this age the Romans as Saturn. never grew old and feeble, but when death came, row nor toil.
  40. 40. The World of the Myths 13 came like a peaceful sleep. And when this was hidden in the earth Zeus made of them good spirits who watch over mortals. The second race, that of the Silver Age, the gods made inferior to the first in mind and body. The time of helpless infancy was long, and the time of manhood short and troubled, for they could not refrain from injuring one another, and they failed to give worship and sacrifice to the gods. Yet the men of this age, too, had some honor, and lived on as spirits under the earth. Next came it race the in Age war. of Bronze, when men insolently delighted Of bronze were their homes, of bronze their armor, and their weapons. By day there their hearts Last of all was no end were as hard as was the Age of Iron. to their weariness and woe, nor by night to their anxieties. Family and friendship parents neglected, and the rights of hospitality forgotten. Might became right, and respect for truth and plighted faith was made of no account. Reverence and their heads, forsook men and Justice, veiling withdrew to Olympus. When Zeus, then, saw how utterly wicked men had become, he resolved to clear the earth of them all. To the council summoned in heaven destruction by fire seemed a method too dangerous to the homes of the gods; a flood over the earth was a safer plan. To this end, Zeus shut the north wind and all the others that drive up love was lost, The Flood of Deucalion.
  41. 41. 14 Greek and Roman Mythology the clouds, and sent out the rainy south wind, and he called upon his brother Poseidon away to let out the waters under his control. it standing grain; carried The and broke .down the flood spread over the fields away their shepherds, the houses the flocks with and the holy shrines. was one now, a limitless ocean. Fishes swam in and out among the branches of the trees, and awkward seals stretched themselves where lately the nimble goats had played. The water-nymphs swam wonderingly among the houses. The birds, flying long in search of a restSea and land, ing-place, all fell The human exhausted in the watery waste. all but the son of race perished, Prometheus, Deu ca'li on, and his wife Pyrrha. These good people, taught beforehand by the wise Titan, had constructed a great chest in which they had gathered all that was necessary for life, and when the flood came they took refuge in it themselves, and floated for nine days until the chest touched ground once more on Mt. Parnassus. When Zeus looked down and saw all the violent race of men swept off the earth, and only this one man, a lover of justice and a devout worshiper of the gods, left alive with his wife, he called upon the north wind to disperse the clouds and upon Poseidon to recall his waters. Then Deucalion and Pyrrha stepped out of the saw a waste and unpeopled earth about and in their loneliness they called upon them, chest and
  42. 42. The World the gods for help. of the The oracle Myths 15 made answer that they should cast behind them the bones of their mother. Knowing that the god could never or- der them to be guilty of the impiety of disturbing the tomb of their mortal parent, Deucalion divined the true meaning of the mysterious comThe earth is the mother of all and the mand. stones are her bones. With heads reverently they descended the mountain, casting stones behind them. Those that Deucalion threw veiled assumed the forms of men, those that Pyrrha So the earth was threw, the forms of women. 2 repeopled. 2 Apollodorus, I. 7; Ovid, Metamorphoses, I. 260 ff.
  43. 43. CHAPTER II THE GODS OF OLYMPUS: ZEUS Mt, oiympus. WHILE the gods of the Greek religion were personifications of natural powers, yet they were conceived after the fashion of human beings, both form and in their needs and passions. They were born, grew, married, and suffered, though death never came to them. These beings, like men, only greater and more beautiful, must have cities and homes like those of men, only So the Greeks of greater and more beautiful. in bodily the mainland looked up to the cloud-capped peak of Mt. Olympus, majestic, mysterious, eternally enduring, and saw there, under the arch of heaven, the golden halls of the divine There, as they say, is city. the seat of the gods that stand- Not by winds is it shaken, nor ever nor doth the snow come nigh thereto, eth fast forever. wet with rain, but most clear white light glad for all it cloudless, and the Therein the blessed gods are (Odyssey, VI. 42 ff.) air is spread about floats over it. their days. was a true celestial city, conceived after the model of the Greek city-states. At the gates of It Hours stood as guardians, within the walls rose the palaces of the gods, and on the cloud the 16
  44. 44. Fig. 3. Zeus.
  45. 45. The Gods of Zeus Olympus: 19 topmost peak, the acropolis, was the great hall where the members of the Olympic Council gathered for deliberation or for feasting. Ambrosia was the food served at these banquets, and nectar, poured into the cups by Hebe, the goddess of youth, nourished the ichor flowing in the gods' veins instead of blood. The nostrils of the feasters were filled with the rich odor of sacrifices of- fered on earth, and their ears charmed by the songs the Muses sang to the accompaniment of Apollo's lyre. In the place of honor sat Zeus on his golden zeus (Jupiter) throne, and Hera, his sister and wife, sat beside him, while about them assembled the other ten Olympians, all brothers, sisters, sons, or daugh" father of gods and king of men." ters of the For after his victory over the Titans Zeus ruled supreme over heaven and He earth. the other Olympians to dispute his challenges power : Go to now, ye gods, make trial that ye all may know. Fasten ye a rope of gold from Heaven, and all ye gods lay hold thereof and all goddesses; yet could ye not drag from Heaven to earth Zeus, counselor supreme, not though ye toiled sore. But once I likewise were minded to draw with all my heart, then should I draw you up with very earth and sea withal. ... By so much am I beyond gods and beyond men. (Iliad, VIII. 18 ff.) As sky-god he drew the clouds over the face of heaven, sending storm and rain upon the earth, ,
  46. 46. 2O Greek and Roman Mythology or he dispersed them and looked down over all as a benignant father. The weapon of his anger was the thunderbolt; Victory stood at his right hand. Yet his rule was not one of arbitrary was the author and promoter of law and order, of a civilized and regulated intercourse between men, of hospitality and just treatment of man by man. Hesiod calls upon the Muses to sing of him in words that recall the violence; he song of the Virgin Mary: Muses of Pieria, who glorify with song, come sing of Zeus your father, and declare his praise, through whom are men famed and un famed, sung and unsung, as Zeus Almighty will. Lightly he giveth strength, and lightly he afflicteth the strong; lightly he bringeth low the mighty and lifteth up the humble lightly he maketh the crooked to be straight and withereth the proud as ; chaff; Zeus, who thundereth in in the height. (Hesiod, Works HIS marriage Zeus was married to Heaven, who dwelleth and Days, i ff.) his sister, "Hera of the golden throne," a beautiful, queenly goddess, yet, as Homer portrays her, a very human woman, jealous of Zeus's other loves, intriguing to get her own way, using against her For lord all the traditional weapons of a woman. implacably power and majesty, Olympian Zeus went in dread of his wife's reproaches and persistency and drew the thickest of clouds between them when he indulged in any pleasure of which she would not approve. Though she had no choice all his
  47. 47. The Gods of Olympus: Zeus 21 but to yield when he asserted his will, she reserved to herself the compensation of taunts and On one occasion when he had promised a favor to another of the god- a sullen demeanor. desses, this altercation took place : Anon with taunting words spake she to Zeus, the son the gods, thou crafty of with thee? It is ever thy mind, hath devised counsel good pleasure to hold aloof from me and in sweet medof Cronus, " Now who among itation to give thy judgments, nor of thine own good will hast thou ever brought thyself to declare unto me the thing thou purposeth." Then the father of gods and men made answer to " Hera, think not thou to know all my sayings hard are they for thee, even though thou art my wife. But whichsoever it is seemly for thee to hear, none sooner than, thou shalt know, be he god or man. Only her : ; when I will to take thought aloof from the gods, then do not thou ask of every matter nor make question.'.' He said, and Hera the ox-eyed queen was afraid, and sat in silence, curbing her heart. (Iliad, I. . . 539 . ff.) Though Hera was Zeus's queen and lawful many other god- wife, he united himself with desses and mortal women. Many of these unions originated as symbols of natural facts, others as symbols of philosophic truths. Thus as sky-god, god of sun and union with De rain, Zeus must join the in marriage grain-goddess, that Per seph'o ne, the young corn of the new year, may be born. Again, as the great, creating, regume'ter, m s otter
  48. 48. 22 Greek and Roman Mythology mind, he must unite with Mnemosyne (nemos'ine) or Memory, that the Nine Muses, the goddesses of poetry, music, and science, may draw from father and mother what is needed for all great creative work. But the extraordinary number of Zeus's unions was due to the fact that Greek mythology was not the creation or inheritance of one land and people, but was drawn from the religion and traditions of Greeks in many different lands and under many different lating The conditions. peoples with were traditions religious whom incorporated of many the Greeks had intercourse by them into their own mythology. Moreover, each Greek state had its own local hero, the ancestor or early king of that group, and these heroes were always of divine origin, very many of them the sons of Zeus by mortal women. Thus the Arcadians traced their descent from Areas, a son of Callisto by Zeus, of whose love the following story is told. Cal lis'to was a nymph, a of the huntress Ar'te mis. favorite companion One day, wandering down upon the ground alone in the woods, she lay Zeus saw her there, and thinking himto rest. self quite safe from the jealous eyes of Hera, came down secretly and wooed her. Callisto would gladly have escaped the attentions of the 'Following the story as told by the Latin poet Ovid (Metamorphoses, II. 410 ff.), but retaining the original Greek names.
  49. 49. The Gods god and gone of Olympus: Zeus 23 Artemis and her nymphs but who could withstand Zeus! Artemis, who, as herself a maiden, would have none but maidens in to rejoin ; her company, turned Callisto away would have rejoined nymph her. woods lived in the when she Solitary and sad the until she bore to Zeus a son, Areas. Now Zeus's love for Callisto was " You shall not go unpunished," to Hera. known " for I shall take away nymph, beauty by which you charmed my husband's said she to the that love." In vain Callisto begged for pity. Her arms began to be covered with coarse black hair crooked claws grew from her hands, which now served as forefeet; that face which once aroused Zeus's love was deformed by huge ugly jaws. When she would have prayed for mercy, the power to speak was taken from' her, and an angry frightened growl was all that she could utter. But under her bear's form her human heart, her How often in her grief and her love remained. ; solitary anguish, fearing to rest woods, she sought her old home! she a huntress, dark often Once the barking dogs she was now the hunted. was driven away by herself the How in ! Often she hid from the bears she met in the moun- forgetful that she was now of their kind. One day her fifteen troubled years passed. tains, So son Areas, out hunting wild beasts, met with his mother in the forest. She recognized her child and ran to greet him. Terrified by the rush of
  50. 50. 24 Greek and Roman Mythology the great bear, he aimed at her his hunting-spear. Zeus checked his blow and raised Callisto to the heavens, where he set her as the constellation of Hera's jealousy was not at all the Great Bear. satisfied by this. "Behold I took from her her human form and now she made a goddess! Is guilty woman! is punishment for a " She went to the sea-gods and power! that they would never permit Callisto to prayed The prayer was granted, dip below their waves. and thus it is that the Great Bear can always be Is this the this my seen in the heavens and never sinks below the waters. ID.* Another that shows the unrelenting hatred with which Hera pursued those favored by Zeus is that of lo. story lo was the daughter of In'a chus, a river-god. Zeus loved and wooed and won her, coming to her secretly under cover of a cloud spread be- tween their meeting-place and Hera's watchful But the jealous queen, looking down upon eyes. the realm of Argos, and wondering to see the low-lying cloud under a clear sky, at once suspected some wrong-doing on her husband's part. She glided down from heaven and bade the cloud recede. Zeus, however, had foreseen the coming of his wife and had changed the daughter of Inachus into a beautiful white heifer. ing the trick, 4 Hera requested Suspectthe heifer as a gift, Following Ovid, Metamorphoses, I. 583 ff.
  51. 51. The Gods of Olympus: Zeus 25 and Zeus was constrained to yield or acknowledge lo was given by her mistress in charge his love. of Argus, a monster of whose hundred eyes but two were closed at one time. When she would have held out supplicating hands to Argus, she had no hands to hold out. When she tried to She speak, she was terrified by her own lowing. came to the banks of the river Inachus where she was wont to play; when she saw the reflection of her great mouth and new- formed horns, she The Naiads fled from her own image in terror. know know her. did not not her; her own father Inachus did She followed her father and sis- and offered herself to be petted and admired. She licked their hands and kissed her father's palms, nor could she keep back the big tears from ters down her rolling nose. At last with her hoof she traced in the sand the letters of her " " lo. upon Woe the is me heifer's ! cried her " own name, father, and fell have sought you Better were it that I had never neck. I through all lands. found you." Hundred-eyed Argus parted them as they lamented, and put her in a new pasture. But Zeus could not endure to see her so unhappy. He sent Hermes, his son and messenger, most wily of gods, to destroy the ever-watchful Argus. Laying aside his winged sandals and disguised as a shepherd, Hermes approached Argus, who, weary of his lonely and tedious watch, called to him to come and share the shade of his tree.
  52. 52. 26 Greek and Roman Mythology Seated beside Argus, Hermes piped to him charmingly on his shepherd's pipes, varying with song the long stories with which he beguiled the hours. Two by two the hundred eyes were closed, until no eye was awake to watch his charge. at once slew him and set lo free. The hundred eyes Hera took and placed in the tail of her sacred peacock, where they may be seen But her jealous wrath still pursued unto-day. fortunate lo. She sent a gad-fly to torment her and drive her from land to land. In her weary at last Hermes search for peace, strait that divides the heifer passed over the Europe from Asia, whence it name, Bosphorus, the way of the cow. Over the sea, too, that bears her name, the Ionian derives its Sea, she wandered, until at last she arrived in Egypt, where she was restored to her natural form and gave birth to a son, the ancestor of the Ionian Greeks. Antiope. An ti'o pe was Thebes. By Zeus the daughter of the king of she became the mother of two Am phi'on and Zethus. Immediately after were taken from her and exposed on Mt. Cithaeron, where they grew up among the shepherds. Antiope fell into the power of her uncle Lycus, whose wife Dirce treated her with the greatest cruelty. After some years she made her escape and fled to Mt. Cithreron, sons their birth the babies where she happened to take refuge in the hut where her sons lived. As one of a company of
  53. 53. The Gods of Olympus: Zeus 27 Bacchantes, votaries of the wine-god Bacchus, Dirce came, by chance, to the same place, and finding the hated Antiope, she ordered Amphion and Zethus to kill her Fig. 4. by tying her to the horns Dirce tied to the bull. They were about to carry out this barbarous command when the shepherd informed them that the victim was their own of a fierce bull. mother. Releasing her, they now executed the
  54. 54. Greek and Roman Mythology 28 same sentence on Dirce, who was instantly torn the angry bull. pieces by Lycus, too, was killed, and the brothers became kings of Thebes. in It is said that when they were building walls about the city Zethus' strength enabled him to lift huge stones into place, but that Amphion's a musician was so great that when he played his lyre stones yet more huge rose of themselves and took their places in the wall. skill as The story of Baucis and Phi le'mon shows how Zeus could reward those who respected the law of hospitality and punish those who violated it. Baucis and fbuemon.D a certain place where now is a marsh freHere quented by wild birds was once a village. in Zeus came his son went in the guise of a mortal, Hermes, winged sandals and with him laid aside. They and were barred against them. Yet refreshment; one, a little house thatched with reeds, received them. Here good old Baucis and her husband Philemon had grown old together, making hapto a thousand dwellings seeking rest all piness even out of their poverty by bearing it Here then came together with contented hearts. the Immortals, and bending down their heads entered the low door. The man placed a seat and bade them sit down, while Baucis bustled to throw over it a coarse covering. Then she gathold ered together the dying embers, added dry leaves and fuel and blew it into a flame with her feeble 5 Following Ovid, Metamorphoses, VIII. 620 ff.
  55. 55. The Gods of Olympus: breath. Her husband brought the Zeus 29 garden, cut a fat piece little cabbage from from the longof bacon, and put them over the cherished flitch fire to cook. They shook up in a their cushion of on the dining-couch, and over it a covering that, poor and patched put though it was, they used only on great festivals. While the gods reclined on the couch, the trembling old woman, with skirts tucked up, set out soft sedge-grass, laid the table. One it foot of the table was uneven; and a handful of greens cleaned the top. off The feast began with olives, stewed berries, endive, radishes, cottage-cheese, and eggs a brick steadied it, carefully fried, all served in earthenware dishes. After this the mixing-bowl and cups, made of beech-wood lined with smooth wax, were set out for the wine not rich old wine, but the best There were nuts, figs, dried dates, and fragrant apples served in baskets, and plums, purple grapes gathered from the vines, and in they had. the middle of the table the honey-comb. Above there were cordial looks and eager good-will. all And now the astonished couple began to notice that the mixing-bowl, as often as it filled up again of its own accord. was emptied, They trem- and holding out their hands in supplication, asked forgiveness for the humble fare. There was one single goose, the guardian of the little farm; this its masters now prepared to slaughter bled, for their divine guests. It escaped them, and
  56. 56. 30 Greek and Roman Mythology flapping and its wings, dodged about the room little at last took refuge at the feet of the gods. The Immortals forbade gods," said they, " its " slaughter. and while this We are neighborhood pays the penalty for its inhospitality, you shall be free from misfortune. Leave your house and The two follow us." old people obeyed and, with their sticks, climbed the hill. hobbling along When a little way from the top, they looked back and saw their all marsh only While they wondered the village covered by a own house was and bewailed left. their neighbors' fate, that hut of theirs was transformed. ; little old In place of the forked sticks supporting a roof thatched with reeds, rose marble columns crowned with gilded beams; the doors were of embossed metal, and the pavement of marble. Then the son of Cronus " Ask, righteous old man and worthy spoke : woman, what you will." Philemon consulted a " moment with Baucis and then answered We : ask to be priests and to keep your shrines; and since we have lived happily together, let the same hour take us both, and let me never see the grave my wife nor have to be buried by her hands." of Their prayer was granted; they were guardians of the temple as long as they lived. One day as stood side by side before the temple each they saw a change come over the other. Now their forms, bent with age, grew straight and strong and rooted firmly in the earth. Then as the wav-
  57. 57. The Gods of Olympus: Zeus 31 grew over their heads, each said: "Farewell, O Wife! O Husband!" and then ing tree-tops the bark covered their mouths. And so, in after years, the shepherds pointed out the oak and the " The linden growing side by side, and said : Fig. 5. Head of Zeus. gods care for the godly, and protect those who do them service." Zeus was represented in art as a man of gener.,, 11 j j ous build and majestic bearing, usually draped from the waist down. His head was massive, his brows heavy, his hair and beard extremely , , . . , zeus: MS appearance and worship,
  58. 58. 32 Greek and Roman Mythology thick, as though his face looked out from masses Beneath his overhang- of piled thunder-clouds. ing eyebrows gleamed those eyes whose glance was lightning, and the heavily lined forehead foreboded that frown at which the heavens shook. His whole appearance was that of the majestic and powerful god of heaven and earth. He was generally represented as seated upon a throne, holding in one hand his scepter or a spear, and in the other his weapons, the winged thunderbolts. With him often appeared by his bold heavenward descent upon his prey the eagle, the bird that and lightningassociated with the flight was On his scepter or beside him appeared sky-god. a winged female figure, Victory, for he held the balances of fate and gave victory to this or that warrior as he willed. selves the statue and ivory set the Greeks them- most admired was that of gold up southern Greece. Among in the temple at Before Olympia, in this representation of the greatest of their gods, Greeks from all parts of the Hellenic world met once in every four years to offer sacrifice and to compete in athletic contests, honoring their divinity by the exhibition of perfect bodies under perfect control. So great was the honor paid to successful contestants that the most famous lyric poets of Greece devoted their. genius to celebrating them in hymns, which were sung by choruses to the accompaniment of
  59. 59. The Gods Fig. 6. of Olympus: View of when own triumphal in 33 ruins at Olympia. the lyre or flute cities Zeus the victors returned to their state. Moreover, the greatest sculptors joined to do them honor; for the proudest glory of an Olympic victor was the right he gained of having his statue set up in the As one walks now through precinct of the god. the ruins at Olympia, here he can make out the plan of the palestra in whose wide spaces Greek youth wrestled, ran races, rivaled one another in throwing the discus. Here was the long colonnade or stoa beneath whose shade poets read their works; in front, long rows of statues of youths, nude as they appeared when winning their
  60. 60. Greek and Roman Mythology 34 Here was the victories. line of treasuries of the states of Greece, and in the center, even all now impressive for the great drums of its colfallen and piled in confusion by the earth- umns, quakes of centuries, rise the high foundations of the great temple of At Do do'na, in Olympian Zeus. Epirus, was a famous oracle of Zeus, one of the oldest holy places in all Greece. Here the priestess read the will of the god from the sound of the rustling leaves of the great oak, a tree especially sacred to Zeus. In every part of the Greek world were places set apart for his worship, and each state claimed his favor for some special reason. As late as early Christian times in Crete the grave of Zeus was pointed out, for conceptions of immortal gods were Jupiter. strangely combined with thoughts of death. Zeus was identified by the Romans with their old Latin god, Jupiter or Jove, and the stories told of the one were transferred to the other. Jupiter was originally a sky-god, as Zeus was, and king of gods and men. Temples in his honor crowned many high hills in Italy, and he was On upon to send rain in time of drought. the Alban Mount the temple of Jupiter called Latiaris was the religious center of the Latin Jupiter Optimus Maximus was on the Capitoline Hill at Rome as worshiped guardian of the state and giver of victory in Confederacy.
  61. 61. The Gods of Olympus: Zeus 35 war, and to him generals returning victorious to celebrate a triumph offered the best of the spoils Roman Jupiter was protector of right and truth and the sanctity of of war. oaths. Like Zeus, the
  62. 62. CHAPTER III HERA, ATHENA, HEPHAESTUS HERA (JUNO) golden-throned Hera, whom Rhea I. I sing of bore, an immortal queen, in beauty preeminent, the sister and the bride of loud-thundering Zeus, the lady renowned, whom all the Blessed throughout high Olympus honor and revere no less than Zeus whose delight is in the thunder. (Homeric Hymn to Hera. Translation by Andrew Lang.) The wife of Zeus. As wife of the supreme god, Hera was naturally The bride the guardian of the marriage state. sacrificed to her, and matrons of the city were the priestesses of her temple. At Samos the annual celebration of her marriage with Zeus was By Zeus she had three the greatest of festivals. Ares (Mars), god of war, Hephaestus (Vulcan), god of the forge, and Hebe, goddess of youth. Though Hebe was originally also children, cup-bearer to the gods, for some reason, perhaps because she slipped one day when pouring the was displaced by Gan'ymede, a TroZeus saw the boy on earth and loved jan prince. him for his boyish charm and beauty. Assuming the form of his royal eagle, the god came nectar, she 36
  63. 63. Fig. 7. Hera.
  64. 64. Hera, Athena, Hephaestus 39 upon Ganymede when he was watching his flocks on Mt. Ida, and carried him off to Olympus to This aroused Hera's anger, be his cup-bearer. not only against her husband but against the whole race of Trojans, whom ever after she pursued Indeed all Zeus's favorwith relentless hatred. Fig. 8. Ganymede and the Eagle. mortals and his children by mortal wives were objects of jealous hate to Hera. ites among was the wind-footed, fleet messenger of Hera, who bore her commands to other gods and to mortals. As she flew down from Olympus Iris men knew trail of her coming by the many-colored she left behind her; for Iris was the rain- iris.
  65. 65. Greek and Roman Mythology 40 bow, the symbol of connection between earth and heaven. Greek Appearance uid emblems. conceived of artists in the full Hera as a woman bloom of her age, of majestic form and carriage, with a serene and beautiful face, a conception inspired by the ideal for which she stood, the queenly protector of wifehood and motherhood. As a matron she was portrayed clad in a long full garment, and on her head a crown. Often she held a scepter, sometimes a pomegranate, the symbol of fertility plants. Fig. Juno. Head 9. of in old women and n. of Atbena. women and Beside her often ap- pears the peacock, his tail of adorned by the hundred ArHera. (See p. 26.) gus eyes. Corresponding to Hera as wife of Zeus, in Roman worship stood Juno, the wife of Jupiter. She too The Birth for Of all times had been the special guardian the marriage-tie. ATHENA (MINERVA) the children of Zeus the one who most nature and power and resembled her father who most enjoyed his respect and confidence was in the maiden goddess, Pallas Athena. The story
  66. 66. Fig. 10. Athena (known as " Lemnian Athena").
  67. 67. Hera, Athena, Hephaestus of her birth tion, since is 43 consistent with this special rela- she sprang, fully grown and fully armed, from the head of Zeus. Her all did Zeus the counselor beget from his holy head for war in shining golden mail, while in awe armed did the other gods behold it. Quickly did the goddess leap from the immortal head, and stood before Zeus, shaking her sharp spear, and high Olympus trembled in dread beneath the strength of the gray-eyed maiden, Pig. II. Birth of Athena from the head of Zeus. while earth rang terribly around, and the sea was boiling with dark waves, and suddenly brake forth the foam. Yea, and the glorious son of Hyperion checked for long his swift steeds, till the maiden took from her shoulders her divine armor, even Pallas Athena; and Zeus the counselor rejoiced. Hail to thee, child of aegis-bearing Zeus. (Homeric Hymn to Athena.) immortal The Greek birth of artists. Athena Zeus is is a favorite subject with Her and represented seated upon his origin nature.
  68. 68. Greek and Roman Mythology 44 him are others of the OlymBefore him stands the god of pian divinities. the forge, Hephaestus, still grasping in his hand the ax with which, to assist the miraculous birth, throne, while about he has cleft the skull of Zeus. beside her Athena stands triumphant, brandishing her her breast protected by the aegis, or sacred spear, breast-plate, adorned with the head of the Gorfather, gon Medusa. (See p. 209.) Originally, in the ancient nature myth, Athena seems to have represented the waters of heaven let loose from the clouds (represented by the head of Zeus) when the thunderbolt (the ax of Hephaestus) cleaves them. The dreadful Gorgon's head with its snaky locks, on the breast-plate, suggests the thunder-cloud and the forked lightning. At an [early time, however, Athena ceased to be regarded and was worshiped as godreason and practical wisdom, and as On the other hand, patroness of arts and crafts. as a nature goddess dess of she was the goddess of war-strategy, the de- fender of cities, especially her own city of Ath- As champion of civilization and justice, the almighty father granted it to her to wear his Thus she represents, as has been well said, aegis. ens. " the warlike courage that gives peace, and the intellectual activity that The Parthenon. To makes it fruitful." Athena, as guardian of the city of Athens, was dedicated the Parthenon, the crowns the height of the Acropolis. temple that Here was
  69. 69. Hera, Athena, Hephaestus 45 the great gold and ivory statue by the sculptor Phidias, and hither each year the Athenians came offer to the goddess the in procession to peplos or robe, woven by the women new of Athens as an offering to the goddess of handicrafts. is represented as of strong and noble dressed in a long form, Athena Her flowing garment. finely molded features express courage and In high intellectuality. addition to the aegis she usually wears a helmet, surmounted by a sphinx and and she hand a frequently, a griffins, holds her in spear, or, small winged figure of Other emVictory. blems are the snake and The emblem the owl. of the olive is given her as guardian of the city of Athens. When Athena (known as "Minerva of Velletri"). Fig. 12. the great city of Athens was founded . all the gods desired to have Athena and Poseidon it as their own. were recognized as having the best claim to it, and it was determined that of the two that one should be chosen who (Neptune) should give the best gift to the city. The contest over Athens.
  70. 70. 46 Greek and Roman Mythology The twelve gods assembled to act as judges, and the king of Athens, served as a witCecrops, ness. The scene of the contest was the height of the Acropolis. Poseidon struck the rock with his trident and a salt Then Athena advanced and spring gushed forth. struck the rock with her spear; an olive tree sprang up. To Athena was adjudged the victory, for the olive was al- ways a great source of wealth to the Athenian state. The sacred olive tree was preserved in the temple precinct, and the story of its miraculous sprouting in a night, when the Athenians returned to rebuild their citadel after in the Persian To this Wars, is one may d?; told see, its by Greek also, burning historians. the mark of Poseidon's trident in the rock below the ancient Some say that Poseidon's gift temple. a spring, but a horse. was not In the story of A rach'ne, Athena appears as goddess of handicrafts. Arachne was a mortal who excelled all other in weaving. Her work became so famous that the very nymphs deserted their woods and streams to see it. Nor was it more the maidens finished work that excited this admiration than the grace and skill of the maiden while she wove. One would think that she had been taught by Pallas. Yet she herself denied this and chal- lenged the goddess to compete with her. 6 Following Ovid, Metamorphoses, VI. I ff. Angry
  71. 71. Hera, Athena, Hephaestus 47 goddess determined to at this presumption, the She put on the form of a whitehaired old woman, her feeble limbs supported by " a stick. Take the advice of an old woman," humble her. she said to Arachne, more skilful than all " you wish to be mortal women; called yield at and ask forgiveness for your boastful words." The maiden angrily eyed her visitor and answered rudely: " You have grown weak-minded with old age. least to the goddess, rash girl, you have any daughters, bestow your advice upon them! I can attend to my own affairs. Why does not the goddess come herself? Why If does she avoid a trial of skill?" "She has come," said the goddess, and threw aside her The nymphs and all the bystanders worshiped, only the maiden was unterrified, and The daughobstinately insisted on the contest. disguise. Zeus did not refuse. ter of weave ; she Arachne began to A wove a web thousand colors were as fine as a spider's. there, so finely shaded that each faded into the other until the whole was like the rainbow. contest with Pallas Poseidon. wove There the scene of her sat the twelve gods in august assembly, kingly Zeus in their midst. There was Poseidon with his trident, and Athena herself, her breast protected by the aegis, and beside her the newly-sprung olive tree. Then, that the presumptuous girl might learn by example, Athena wove the stories of mortals who
  72. 72. Greek and Roman Mythology 48 had dared and had suffered was not daunted. to compete with gods punishment. But Arachne She wove into her web stories of the weaknesses and strifes of the gods, Zeus and his loves, and jealous Hera many were the foibles there held up to derision. border. Then about it she wove a lovely Athena herself could not but wonder at the maiden's skill, but her arrogance aroused her resentment. She struck the delicate web with her shuttle, and it crumbled into bits; then she touched Arachne's forehead. sense of her A impiety rushed over the girl; she could not enit, and hanged herself with a skein of her dure own ful a But Athena did not wish that so skilworker should die; she cut the skein and, silk. sprinkling upon her the juice of aconite, transformed the maiden into a spider, that through ages she might continue to spin her matchless webs. all Minerva. Minerva was an old Etruscan goddess whom Romans worshiped as patroness of handiHer crafts and goddess of practical wisdom. festival was celebrated by guilds of artisans and physicians, and on it school-children were given the a holiday. By her later identification with the Greek Pallas Athena she became known as goddess of military strategy and as protectress of cities. Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva formed a di- vine triad worshiped on the Capitoline Hill.
  73. 73. Hera, Athena, Hephaestus in. 49 HEPHAESTUS (VULCAN) Half-brother of Athena, and son of Zeus and The god of fire. Hera, was He phses'tus, the lame god of fire, the forge and metal-work, and as such, together mighty helper of men with his great sister, a their for civilization. struggle dressed in the Homeric He is in thus ad- Hymn: Sing, shrill Muse, of Hephaestus, renowned in craft, who with gray-eyed Athena taught goodly works men on earth, even to men that before were wont to to dwell in caves like beasts; but now, being instructed in craft by the renowned craftsman, Hephaestus, lightly the whole year through they dwell happily in their own homes. (Homeric He was of his fall Hymn to Hephastus.) born lame, but two stories are told from heaven that would more than account for any such deformity. the one, Hera, chagrined at According to finding her son physically imperfect, threw him out of heaven. To avenge himself for this cruelty on his mother's part, Hephaestus cunningly constructed a golden chair and brought it as a present to Hera. When she had taken her seat upon it, invisible chains The gods with Hephaestus in vain, until Di o ny'sus pleaded held her fast, nor could she be freed. (Bacchus), the wine-god, made him drunk and so brought him to Mt. Olympus and induced him to undo his own handiwork. other story Zeus, resenting his According to the championship of
  74. 74. 50 his Greek and Roman Mythology mother in one of the the royal pair, seized quarrels between the foot and hurled many him by him from Olympus. All day and Appearance I flew, little life was Hcphsestus and in at the set of me. made gods on Olympus; Fig. 13. (Iliad, sun I. I fell in Lemnos, 592.) the glorious palaces of the he mac'e the scepter of Zeus Hephaestus and the Cyclopes preparing the shield of Achilles. and the shield of Achilles; he helped to mold Pandora. His workshops were under the earth, where volcanoes gave an outlet to the fires of his forge. Thus saw his home in the Lemnos, and the Greeks of and Sicily, under Mt. yEtna or on the Greeks volcanic island of South Italy
  75. 75. Hera, Athena, Hephaestus On one of the Lipari Islands. 51 the latter, was it the popular belief that if the metal were left over-night near the crater, and due prayer and sacrifice made to the god, a marvelously forged sword would be found in the morning. To aid in his work he had wonderful maidens of him He gold. Homer described is his in workshop by : He bulk, The said, and from the anvil rose limping, a huge but under him his slender legs moved nimbly. bellows he set away from the fire, and gathered all his gear wherewith he worked into a silver chest and with a sponge he wiped his face and hands and sturdy ; neck and shaggy breast, and did on his doublet, and took a stout staff and went forth limping; but there were handmaidens of gold that moved to help their In them is underlord, the semblance of living maids. standing at their hearts, in them are voice and strength, and they have the skill of the immortal gods. (Iliad, XVIII. 410 Ever ff.) friendly and helpful, often a peace- maker, Hephaestus was beloved of men and gods, though his limping gait subjected him to ridicule. Then he poured forth wine to laughter unquenchable arose the gods, from right from the bowl. And all to left, ladling the sweet nectar among the blessed gods to see Hephaestus bustling through the palace. 597 (Iliad, I. .) Hephaestus is when he appears not a favorite subject in art, but it is as a strongly-built man. his
  76. 76. 52 Greek and Roman Mythology lameness only hinted at. He is dressed in a workman's short tunic and wears the workman's Probably he originally represented the lightning; hence the story of his fall from heaven, Vulcan, the fire-god, was more feared than courted in Rome, with its close-built streets, so cap. vuican. His worship, theresubject to destructive fires. fore, as originally that of the war-god Mars, was kept outside the city.
  77. 77. Fig. 14. Apollo, from Olympia.
  78. 78. CHAPTER IV APOLLO AND ARTEMIS I. APOLLO THE purest and highest worship of the Greeks was perhaps that offered to Phoebus Apollo, the glorious god of light, who in later mythology took healin g- the place of the Titan Helios. In his chariot he drives across the heavens, attended by the Hours and Seasons, and horses in the at evening stables his golden west. Nothing false or impure might be brought near to him; his was a cleansing and enlightening power. With his arrows, the rays of the brilliant Greek sun, he destroyed his enemies and brought pestilence and death upon those that had fallen under his disBut he was a destructive god only pleasure. when provoked to anger; he was preeminently the god of healing and medicine. It was he that inspired physicians to divine the hidden cause of disease; he was was their patron. especially exercised vine physician As This healing gift by Apollo's son, the cle'pi us, who di- incurred Zeus's wrath by even restoring the dead to life. But Apollo's greatest importance in the Greek world was as god of prophecy, the giver of the 55 The Oracle at Delphi.
  79. 79. The most famous of prophetic gift. all oracles that at Delphi, a town of central Greece situated on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus. Here the was on a tripod over a cleft HI the was thrown into an inspired frenzy by the priestess, seated rock, Fig. 15. The Sun-God vapors that rose about her. in his Her Chariot. incoherent ut- terances were interpreted by the priests of the shrine. Hither came those seeking guidance, not only from all the Greek world, but from distant and non-Hellenic lands. No great undertaking might be entered upon without the sanction and
  80. 80. Fig. 16. Foundations of Apollo's Temple at Delphi.
  81. 81. Apollo and Artemis 59 guidance of the god; especially those seeking to found a new colony must first consult the oracle of Apollo. cities, Thus the god was the founder of the promoter of colonization, the extender of just and civilized law. In all his manifestations Apollo stands for the The god of beauty and Greek ideal of manly strength and beauty, of the music highest and purest development of body and in- He inspires not alone physicians with their art and prophets with their power, but to tellect. him He poets and musicians owe the divine spark. On the giver of all beauty and harmony. all is Parnassus he led his chorus of the Nine Mt. gods he charmed the Olympians by the music of his Muses, golden and at the banquets of the lyre. always represented as in the prime of youth, with smooth face and refined (in later art almost feminine) features. As the archer Apollo is usually entirely nude and holds the bow. As sun-god he appears in his chariot drawn by " " winged horses, while rosy-fingered Dawn throws open before him the gates of the East and he is Hours and Seasons accompany the chariot. As god of music and leader of the Muses, he is the dressed in the long flowing garment of the Greek bard and holds the lyre. About his forehead he wears the wreath of laurel, sacred to him and always the reward of the poet. Apollo was the son of Zeus and the goddess
  82. 82. Greek and Roman Mythology 60 Leto (Lato'na). The story of his mother's wanderings, driven by the cruel jealousy of Hera to seek a birthplace for her children, and of how at last the little refuge, is rocky told in the Fig. 17. isle of Delos 7 offered her a Homeric Hymn. Apollo as leader of the Muses. But the lands trembled sore and were adread, and none, nay not the richest, dared to welcome Phoebus, not till 7 Lady Leto set foot on Delos, and speaking winged Delos had up to that time been a floating island; in return for its hospitable reception of Leto, Zeus fastened it to the bottom with adamantine chains.
  83. 83. Apollo and Artemis 6l " words besought her Delos, would that thou wert minded to be the seat of my son, Phoebus Apollo, and to let build him therein a rich temple. ." And forth leaped the babe to light, and all the goddesses : . raised a cry. washed thee in . Then, great Phoebus, the goddesses water holy and purely, and wound fair thee in white swaddling bands, delicate, new-woven, with a golden girdle around thee. Nor did his mother suckle Apollo, the golden sworded, but Themis with immortal hands first touched his lips with nectar and sweet ambrosia, while Leto rejoiced, in that she had borne her strong son, the bearer of the bow. (Homeric Hymn to the Delian Apollo.) After the birth of the twins, Apollo and Artemis, the story tells how once in Lycia Leto came, weary and parched with thirst, to a pond where some countrymen were gathering reeds. The boors refused her the privilege she entreated of quenching her thirst, and threatened the fainting goddess with violence. They even waded into pond and stirred up the mud to make the water undrinkable. In just anger at their boorishness and cruelty the goddess prayed that they the There they live often coming to the top to breathe, or squatstill, ting on the bank, croaking their discontent with hoarse voices. Their backs are green and their might never leave that pool. bellies are bodies; white their ; eyes blooded creatures pond. their heads bulge. like them grow out of You can bloated see cold- in the nearest frog-
  84. 84. Greek and Roman Mythology 62 python. At site Delphi, before the coming of Apollo, the of the oracle was guarded by a pestilential earth-born serpent, Python, who laid waste all the land. This monster of disease and darkness god of light killed with his golden shafts and made the oracle his own. Exulting in his victory, he now sang for the first time the Paean, the song of triumph and thanksgiving, and on the the scene of his victory he planted his sacred laurel tree. How came to be sacred to Apollo is told by the Latin poet Ovid as follows Eros (Cupid) was responsible for Apollo's unhappy love for Daphne. Once the sun-god saw him fitting an arrow to the string, and being the laurel : Daphne. s haughty because of his recent victory over " MisPython, he taunted the little god of love. chievous boy, what have you to do with such weapons! These are arms that become my shoulders I, who lately with my arrows laid Be you content to track out love-adventures with your torch; do not aslow swelling Python. pire to him my honors! " " Aphrodite's son answered Your arrows pierce all things, Phoebus mine pierce you." As he spoke he drew from : ; his quiver inspires With two arrows; the one with point of gold love, that tipped with lead repels it. he wounded Apollo; with the second he pierced Daphne, the daughter of a river8 the first Fol!ovinp- Ovid, Metamorphoses, I. 452 ff.
  85. 85. Apollo and Artemis 63 god. Straightway the god loved, but the nymph hated the very name of lover and gave herself, like the maiden goddess Artemis, to hunting wild things in the woods. Many suitors sought her, but she refused them all and persuaded her father But permit her always to live a maiden. He saw her hair in charming conloved. Apollo fusion about her neck; he saw her eyes beaming to lips and longed to kiss her hands and her shapely praised arms; he thought her all beautiful. She fled from him more elusive than the light breeze, nor " did she stay to hear his entreaties Nymph, like stars he saw her ; He them. : I pray you, stay Nymph, enemy. if stay! love Alas! what pursuit. who I ! if you should the horrid thorns should and pursue you am no is the cause of my fall! wound your What innocent should be to you the cause of pain The ground is rough; run not so fast! I, too, will follow more slowly. I who love you am no ankles, I ! am no rough shepherd. Rash girl, you know not whom you flee. Jupiter is my father. Through me what was and is and will be is disclosed through me the notes ring boorish mountaineer; I ; harmonious on the strings. My arrow is sure, yet one arrow is surer it has wounded my heart. ; Medicine through cure my is all my the world. love, others save invention; I its called savior Alas! no medicine can nor can the master." am skill that saves all
  86. 86. Greek and Roman Mythology 64 But the nymph still fled and the god still pur- sued, she swift through fear, he swifter yet as he drew so close upon winged with love. Now her that she felt his breath upon her neck. She her strength go from her and in her despair " called upon her father, the river-god Help felt : me, O else change Let the earth open for me, or " form that has been my ruin Father! this ! As she ceased her prayer a heaviness seized her limbs; her soft bosom was inclosed in a delicate bark ; The her locks became leaves, her arms branches. foot, lately so swift, was rooted in the Phcebus only her beauty remained. loved her, and placing his hand upon the trunk, he felt her breast tremble beneath the new- ground; still He put his arms about it and wood shrank from his kisses. " Then said the god Since you cannot be my wife, you shall surely be my tree, O Laurel, and formed bark. kissed the wood ; the : ever shall you adorn quiver. And as my my head, head is my lyre, and my ever crowned with youth and beauty, so shall your branches ever be crowned with green and glossy leaves." As the ever-green laurel recalls the story of Apollo's unrequited love for a nymph, so the fragrant hyacinth springs from his unhappy attachment to a mortal youth snatched away by an untimely death. There was a time when even Delphi was de9 Following Ovid, Metamorphoses, X. 162 ff.
  87. 87. Apollo and Artemis 65 by Apollo, when the bow and the lyre lost charm for him. He spent all his days with serted their Hy a cin'thus, carrying his hunting-nets, holding accompanying him on the hunt or in his sports. One day the friends, having taken off their clothes and been rubbed with oil, were in his dogs, amusing themselves throwing the discus. Apollo threw it high and far, exhibiting skill and strength in the sport. Hyacinthus rushed forto get the discus, not counting for the strong ward rebound from such a throw. It glanced upward and struck the boy full in the temple. The god caught him in his fall and held him close, trying to wound and staunch the For once herbs. lily applying medicinal For as a his art failed him. when upon faints it the rays of the sun have struck hot droops its head towards the earth and and dies, his head upon so the mortal youth his breast and fell drooped lifeless from the god's embrace. In his grief Apollo upbraided himself as its cause, and, since he could not restore the boy to life, declared that at least his name should ever, celebrated by him in song. the red blood had flowed out And live for- lo ! upon the where earth, there sprang up a splendid purple flower with " a form like a lily. It bore on its petals Ai, " Ai (Alas, Alas), a memorial of the sun-god's mourning. And as often as the fresh young spring drives away the winter, so often are these
  88. 88. 66 Greek and Roman Mythology flowers fresh in the fields. Hyacinthus rises again. Marpessa. There was an occasion when Apollo presented himself as rival to a mortal and was rejected. Mar pes'sa was a beautiful maiden, loved by Idas, who, with the help of winged horses given him by Poseidon, stole her from her father. Apollo overtook the runaway couple and seized the maiden for himself. But Idas, fearing not even the god in defense of his beloved, against him. drew his bow To prevent the unequal contest, Zeus gave Marpessa her choice between the two. On the one side stood the glorious sun-god, offering immortality, power, glory, and freedom from all earthly trouble. On the other stood Idas, offering only faithful love and partnership in his life with its mingled joy and sorrow. The woman chose the mortal, fearing unfaithfulness part, since immortal youth was not on the god's and preferring with one capable die, grow old, of a like love and destined to a like fate. granted her with immortal Niob. 10 life, and to live, love, In the tragic fate of Ni'o be and her fourteen children, Apollo with his sister Artemis appears as his mother's avenger, and his golden arrows bring destruction. The story of Arachne's punishment for her presumption towards Athena should have been a warning to 10 all. But Niobe was too haughty Following Ovid, Metamorphoses, VI. 146 ff.
  89. 89. Apollo and Artemis 67 to heed it. Many things made her proud. Her husband was a celebrated musician on both sides of her family she was descended from the gods, and she ruled over a great kingdom. More than ; all, she was proud of her children, seven sons and seven daughters. The Priest of Leto had cried through the city: " Come, all ye people, offer to Leto and the children of Leto the sacrifice of prayer and incense Bind your heads with laurel Leto bids it by ! ! All the people obeyed and offered sacrifice. Then came Niobe, dressed in purple and gold, moving stately and beautiful among her and casting haughty looks about. subjects my " lips." What madness," beings of seen! whom Why is said she, is Atlas, starry heavens. to place celestial you have only heard above those Leto worshiped at the altars, while no incense rises in father " my honor? My grand- who bears on his shoulders the My other grandfather is Zeus. as queen. Moreover, Wide kingdoms own me my this beauty is worthy of a goddess. Add to all my seven sons and seven daughters, and see have for pride! I know not how Leto, who is you dare to prefer Leto to me the mother of but two! I am beyond the power of Fortune to injure. Go! enough honor has what cause I been paid to her and her offspring. Put off the from your heads!" Niobe was obeyed; the worship of Leto was neglected or celebrated laurel
  90. 90. Greek and Roman Mythology 68 in secret. her to The goddess was indignant and two children said " Lo, I, your mother, proud of having borne you, and second to no one of the goddesses, unless it be Hera, am brought to doubt whether I am a goddess. I am cut off from the honor due, unless you help me. Moreover, this woman adds insults and has : set her children above you." Apollo and Artemis heard her. Hidden in clouds they came to the city of Thebes. dared to Two of Niobe's sons happened to be practison the race-course near the city. ing their horses The elder was just nearing the end of when he received Apollo's arrow full in the course the breast. Dropping the reins from his dying hand, he fell from his chariot in the dust. His brother, hearing the whizz of the arrow and seeing no man, gave free rein to his horses, hoping to escape. unescapable shaft overtook him, and his blood reddened the earth. Two others of the Apollo's sons were wrestling in the palestra. One arrow pierced the two, locked as they were in one another's arms. As they fell, another brother rushed up to save them he fell before he could reach them. A sixth met his death in the same ; The youngest way. " raised his hands in prayer : " ye gods, spare -me! Apollo might have been moved, but the arrow had already left the O all string. Chance report and the prayers of those about